Over the past three parts of this introduction to bootstrap marketing, we’ve looked at the different ways in which you can promote your brand. But obviously there are different approaches to adopt, even to the same marketing method – and it’s up to you to choose the style that’s best suited to your business.
A bootstrap state of mind
Your best bet is to try and get all of your activities undertaken with the same state of mind – that doesn’t mean everything has to be serious promotional effort, or that you can only use alternative, ‘fun’ modes of marketing.
Rather, it’s about making sure that positivity pervades everything you do, so your advertising does not clash with the reality for customers dealing with your brand.
10. Customer service
Good customer service should be an integral part of a good service anyway, but if you treat your existing customers well, they’re more likely to tell their friends, driving your positive word of mouth far and wide.
Again, your credibility is associated with your word of mouth, and how your company is perceived among the other brands in your sector.
Work with integrity, fulfil your commitments, and don’t use shady tactics to undermine your opponents, and credibility should simply be a natural consequence of this.
8. Campaign for change
If you believe strongly in a cause, don’t be afraid to campaign for it – in many cases, you can tie this into your business operations as part of your corporate social responsibility or environmental commitments.
Even if not, fundraising activities are a good way to show that you care about your local area, or about the world in general, and again should help create positive perceptions of your company.
7. Dress differently
Many modern, forward-thinking companies shy away from strict dress codes, and your employees will thank you if you do the same.
Dress-down days can be tied into fundraising efforts, if you don’t want to abandon a formal dress code completely.
6. Do something unpredictable
Got an idea for an offer or publicity stunt, but haven’t seen it done before? That’s sometimes a good thing – just because nobody else has tried it, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.
Be innovative and unexpected, and you’ll not only generate interest in your brand; you’ll also add an extra level of intrigue to whatever you choose to do next.
5. Help a charity
As with campaigning for a good cause, helping a specific charity is a good idea simply because it shows you care.
With specific sponsorship and long-term collaboration, though, you can go even further, demonstrating your dedication to the cause through a rewarding private-nonprofit partnership.
4. Fun marketing
Even the most boring of products and services can benefit from a bit of fun marketing.
Figure out a way of painting your product in a new light, get out there and promote it – you could unlock a whole new area of the market in the process.
3. Focus on staff
Our top three suggestions are totally about your own state of mind – and that of your employees.
Focus on worker welfare, training and development, and on generally bringing the best out of your people, and their positive attitude will spill over into other areas of their work.
2. Go the extra mile
Encourage your workforce to deliver an unbeatable level of service, and make sure you’re willing to do the same for your employees, for a top-down approach to excellence.
Whatever you do in business, do it with enthusiasm – if you embrace each challenge, you’re much more likely to prevail.